In this guide, I list reasons to go to mediation first. While participating in mediation does not prevent participants from going to court later, it offers them a chance to resolve disputes earlier on. Furthermore, it empowers them through leading to more beneficial and creative terms.
Come up with creative options
Many times, mere dollars and cents are much less valuable than creative settlements. For example, an older singer might gain more from a spot in a show than short term funds. Here, creative ways to promote the singer's career are preferred because they will create much greater returns in the long-run. More often than not, creative options are preferred over limited options available in court. This is especially true when two businesses are in dispute, as a positive business relationship might mean mutual gains for many years.
Avoid risk of litigation
In mediation, especially facilitative mediation, the mediator helps participants to reach an agreement they can both live with. Conversely, in court, there is no guarantee that the participant will get anything.
Avoid negative publicity
Especially when businesses are involved, it's important to stay off the record. Mediation prevents negative publicity, which, on its own, can make mediation more worthwhile than court.
Settle on your own terms
In mediation, the participants come up with the ultimate determination. In court, even the winner can be unhappy with what the judge decides.
Avoid crippling financial cost
Court costs an arm and a leg, and many times you will endure great losses if you lose the case. Moreover, even when participants win they win very little (because of attorney's fees and time lost).
Avoid calendaring concerns
It can take months or even years to calendar. Then, the case itself can take months. Finally, it can be appealed over and again. Mediation can prevent these concerns.
Prevent horrific experiences
For many, court is terrifying. This is especially true for clients who have never been to court. Mediation is much more relaxed, and mediators actually care about your comfort.